Jimmy’s Last Stand

September 26, 2013

by Danielle Small

Never mind homework,  Jimmy had enough trouble just trying to remind his parents to pick him up from school.

“I’m entering it into my calendar,” promised his mom every morning as she typed the reminder into her phone.

“You shouldn’t need an alarm to remind you to pick me up from school,” mumbled Jimmy as he finished making his lunch—a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that had too much peanut butter and not enough jelly.

The next day, Jimmy knew exactly what he had to do. It was a Saturday and Jimmy, filled with optimism, whistled on his way to his parents’ room. They were still asleep, so when he took their smartphones and plunged them in a bowl of water, they did not notice. An hour later, when they woke up, he semi­successfully made pancakes with bacon and eggs.

Straggling into the kitchen, his parents asked him why he made breakfast.

“I’m on a mission,” he replied. “I’m on a mission to make our family a real family. I can’t remember the last time we spent time together where you guys weren’t playing Angry Birds or emailing your bosses. And I want to change that. Your training starts today.”

During his curt speech, Jimmy’s parents were hurriedly searching for their phones.

Before they could freak out, Jimmy explained how he had disposed of them. His parents screamed at him and took turns yelling “You’re grounded.” But Jimmy didn’t care because this was all a part of the plan.

“You’ll get your phones back after we sit down and eat together as a family—for once,” Jimmy said.

His parents’ resistance and threats of punishment were futile. They needed their phones and they weren’t the spanking types. And if the only thing they had to do was sit down and eat breakfast to get their phones back, well, it did not seem like a bad deal.

A few years later when reflecting on that odd weekend, Jimmy wondered if his little experiment did any good. They never ate together much after that. Then, he remembered that Monday, for the first time, his mom was actually on time to pick him up from school, and she didn’t even have her smartphone to remind her.

Danielle Small is a freelance writer based in New York City. When she’s not peddling articles or tweeting (@danielleabeda), she fills her time trying to master the harmonica. She can play three-quarters of a Bob Dylan song.-See more at: http://downsizedlivingmag.com/Fool-Your-Family.html#sthash.WRDcQsCu.dpuf

All Downsized Living blog posts are fictitious and satirical. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental and unintentional.